Positive effects of naringenin on near-surface membrane fluidity in human erythrocytes
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Purpose: Deformability/rheologic behavior of erythrocytes are related to near-surface membrane fluidity. Specific agents can increase erythrocyte membrane fluidity in order to adjust hemodynamics in cardiovascular diseases. Grapefruit flavanone naringenin has been proposed for potential use in an alternative therapy of cardiovascular conditions. In respect to this, we assessed here effects of two nutritionally relevant concentrations of naringenin (0.1 and 1 mu g/ml) on near-surface membrane fluidity in human erythrocytes. Methods: We used electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and fatty acid spin probes (5-DS and 7-DS), the spectra of which are dependent on membrane fluidity. Results: The results showed a significant (p = 0.029) increase of membrane fluidity near the hydrophilic surface in erythrocytes treated with higher concentration of naringenin. In the deeper layer, just below the erythrocyte membrane phospholipid heads, both lower and higher concentration of naringenin significantly increased membrane fluidity (p = 0.036 and p = 0.028, respectively). Conclusions: These data document the positive and dose dependent effect of naringenin on near-surface membrane fluidity in human erythrocytes, recommending its use in the cardiovascular conditions characterized by disturbed hemodynamics.